Mayors for Peace announces new vision — Nuclear-free world, safe and resilient cities, promoting culture of peace — and action plan to focus on disarmament education for citizens

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

On July 13, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui announced a new vision and action plan for Mayors for Peace for which he serves as president. The organization has set out objectives of realizing “a world without nuclear weapons” and “safe and resilient cities.” To achieve these objectives, it has positioned the promotion of a culture of peace, in which each member of the public thinks about peace and acts accordingly, as its most significant initiative. The organization envisions a scenario in which it urges policymakers of nuclear-armed states to change their policies through a change in citizen awareness, leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons and peacebuilding.

The name of this new vision is “Vision for Peaceful Transformation to a Sustainable World (PX Vision).” This new vision is a successor to the “2020 Vision” aiming at the total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, but it does not include a target date for the abolition of nuclear weapons. At his press conference, Mayor Matsui stressed, “Based on achievements and results so far, we’ve worked out a vision that will steadily advance our efforts toward the ultimate objectives of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Among the three objectives, Mayors for Peace positioned the promotion of a culture of peace as the most important initiative to support the realization of safe and resilient cities, and stipulated as follows: “A network composed of mayors of local governments, the most immediate presence to citizens, Mayors for Peace has concluded that promoting a culture of peace is the most significant role to fulfill in the immediate future.”

In the Action Plan (2021 to 2025) compiled in conjunction with the new vision, listed are measures for the realization of the three objectives. In addition to cultivating an awareness of peace by disseminating the idea of a “Month for a Culture of Peace” which will be established by the City of Hiroshima in November this year, the plan will focus on the promotion of peace and disarmament education.

Regarding the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which came into force in January this year, in addition to collecting signatures to expand the number of states parties, member cities in the nuclear-armed states and their allied states will urge their own national governments to take part in the Meetings of States Parties as observers. Member cities will also aim to resolve regional issues, such as terrorism, poverty and environmental destruction to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As of July 1, 2021, Mayors for Peace includes 8,037 cities from 165 countries and regions. The new vision and action plan were adopted by an online executive meeting by the heads by 18 executive cities, including the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

(Originally published on July 14, 2021)